Hervey Bay Presbyterian Church

The Prince of Heaven versus the prince of this world

So that you may believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah the Son of God

Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 2
  • John 14:28-15:4

The prophets and Jesus Christ

Isaiah

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6–7, NIV)

The birth of Jesus was announced as the fulfillment of the promise made in the time of Isaiah:

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:23, NIV)

Daniel

Daniel had a dream of four different bests representing four different kingdoms in succession:  Babylonia in the form of a lion with wings like an eagle; Medo-Persia in the form of a bear with three ribs in its mouth; Greece in the form a of a leopard with four wings like wings of a bird; and Rome, a terrifying and frightening beast.

But Daniel saw something else: above all these thrones was the throne of the Ancient of Days – God in heaven.  Thousand upon thousands attended Him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.  He then opened the books – it was time for judgement.  Daniel wrote down what he saw:

“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:11–14, NIV)

Daniel’s prophecy pointed to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, the son of God, and it was indeed under the Roman Empire that Jesus was born.

Revelation

Last week we had a look at Revelation 12.  Let’s go there again.

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:1–6, NIV)

The prince of this world and Jesus

The dragon of these verses could not wait any longer.  Soon after Jesus was born, we read:

…an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (Matthew 2:13, NIV)

At be beginning of the public ministry of Jesus when He was baptised at the Riven Jordan by John the Baptiser, we read:

As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16–17, NIV)

He is the Son of God; his Father has pleasure in Him, and the world had to know about Him.  That voice from heaven would return again to confirm to the people that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.

The tempter

What happened next with Jesus was his temptation.  Satan tried whatever he could to tempt Jesus to give up his mission to seek and save the lost.

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Matthew 4:3, NIV)

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4:5–6, NIV)

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8–9, NIV)

Christ remained obedient to the Father and the Scripture and showed that the devil had no hold on Him.

He went out to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven, healing the sick, performing various miracles, and casting out demons.

Powerless before Christ

Mark records very early in his Gospel that Jesus had an encounter with a demon possessed man.

Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:23–24, NIV)

Jesus just ordered him to come out of the man and with a shriek it left the man.  Then just a few chapters further we read of another encounter with a demon-possessed man.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” (Mark 5:6–8, NIV)

The Prince of Heaven

In everything Jesus did and proclaimed, He showed Himself to be the Son of God promised by the prophets and sent by God: his mission was to seek and save the lost by destroying the power of the Evil One over them, and dealing with the sins of the lost on the cross where He died for those in slavery of sin and bound by the prince of darkness.

God Himself

When Jesus taught the Jews about who He was, they laid a charge against Him that He was demon-possessed.  But He said, “I tell you the truth before Abraham we born, I am.”  (John 8 58) This sounded too much like the name by which God revealed Him self to the Israelites.  Jesus meant it to be understood that way, because He was and is God.  They then wanted to stone Him, but He hid Himself – His time has not yet come.  He was in charge.  To kill Him was not in their hands.

It happened again just a little while later.  We read about that in John 10.  Jesus said to the crowd:

Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” (John 10:37–38, NIV)

Then they tried to seize Him, but He escaped.  This happened after He assured his disciples:

he reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:17–18, NIV)

The Son of God glorified

As Jesus moved closer to the time appointed by the Father on that glorious time of Passover, Jesus declared:

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. (John 12:23,27, NIV)

Again there was a voice from heaven, assuring that the Name of Jesus would be glorified. Jesus immediately said:

“This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. (John 12:30–31, NIV)

The Son of Man in control

Jesus was all the way in control.  The devil tried to be step ahead, but could not rush the timetable of the Father.  Jesus was the Passover Lamb; He had to be killed on the appointed time – when all other lambs were killed in Jerusalem in preparation for their Passover.

Satan even entered Judas.  He was now in control of this evil man to see that Jesus would be crucified and killed – get Him out of the way!
It was only after Judas left the room into the darkness of the night that Jesus declared:

“Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. (John 13:31–32, NIV)

Satan has no hold on Him

Now, as our text this morning points out, Jesus said:

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me. (John 14:30, NIV)

The sinless Son of God

Sinless

The devil has no hold over Christ, because Christ was always in control as the Son of God – the One from Psalm 2, the One from Isaiah 9, the One from Daniel – the Son of God, the Messiah, the King, the Shepherd who would lay down his life out of his own accord.

But the Devil had not hold over Him because He never sinned.  He could not be accused of any wrongdoing.  He was the sinless Lamb of God.

The prince of this world could do nothing to the Prince of Heaven; as a matter of fact, it was the other way round.  The Prince of Heaven used the prince of this world to accomplish the mission of the Father.  He would be merely instrumental in the unfolding of the plan of God to save sinners through the death and resurrection of his Son.

Obedient to the Father

This exactly what Jesus said:

I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave. (John 14:30–31, NIV)

When the world would see the Son of God hang on the cross of Calvary only a few hours later, they had to know He did what He did because He was obedient to the Father.  The cross and death of Jesus will be the condemnation of the world who saw it, heard it, knew it, and yet they rejected Him.

How dreadful for the unsaved to hear the words of the Gospel in their ears, knowing that they mocked and crucified the Son of God, to know that He did it because He was obedient to the Father, and yet, they did nothing to worship Him and beg Him for forgiveness.

On the other hand, for those who believed in his Name and believed in Him as Lord and Saviour they know now this:

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:13–15, NIV)

May the Lord, by the encouragement of the Holy Spirit which brings to us the words of Christ help us to understand that in Him we are more than conquerers.

Conclusion

I have to conclude with the words of Paul in Romans 8:31-39:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31–39, NIV)

Sermon preached by Rev D. Rudi Schwartz on 7 July 2013

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